All 13 Juneau Junior All-Stars played on Thursday night in a 14-4 rout of Ketchikan in Game 2 of Alaska Little League Junior Baseball State Tournament.
Juneau’s second win in as many nights at the state tournament at Norman Walker Field in Ketchikan was punctuated by another excellent pitching performance. After a four-pitcher no-hitter in Wednesday night’s win, Juneau’s pitchers on Thursday allowed just five hits.
Kaleb Campbell threw three scoreless innings, and the trio of Joe Aline, Derek Schauwecker and Luke Dean allowed just four combined hits over the rest of the game. Juneau pitchers gave up only two walks, compared to 11 by Ketchikan.
Campbell was stellar at the plate, going 2-for-2 with four RBIs and scoring twice. Campbell hit an unlikely inside-the park home run in the third inning, bolting for second base, and then third base and eventually home plate after Ketchikan’s wayward throw to second base ended up somewhere deep in the outfield.
Thomas Baxter and Schauwecker also recorded multiple hits in the win.
Juneau and Ketchikan square off one again in Game 3 on Friday night.
Juneau rides Nelson’s arm to victory over Ketchikan
As Juneau and Ketchikan played in the Junior baseball state tournament, a younger Juneau-Ketchikan matchup played out simultaneously over 170 miles away at the Alaska District 2 Majors Baseball Tournament in Sitka.
Juneau was fresh off a momentum-building 9-8 walk-off win over Sitka on Wednesday and played with high energy all game, leading to a 12-2 quarterfinals win.
The three tournament teams of Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan played each other once Monday through Wednesday, with all three squads coming out of pool play at 1-1. Sitka was given the No. 1 seed, Juneau the No. 2 seed and Ketchikan the No. 3 seed based on how many runs each squad allowed.
After leaning on pitcher Hunter Carte in Wednesday’s win — the 10 year old allowed two hits in three innings — Juneau found another winning pitcher in Christian Nelson on Thursday.
“The kids were extra focused after the momentum change from last night’s win,” Juneau coach Jake Carte said. “Christian Nelson came out in an extremely efficient manner on the mound, and set the tone for the game.”
Nelson struck out four and gave up just two six hits and two runs over 3 1/3 innings. The game ended after four innings due to a 10-run mercy rule. Juneau scored eight runs on three hits, four walks and two errors in the third.
Juneau recorded seven fewer errors in Thursday night’s game compared to Tuesday’s 10-9 loss to Ketchikan.
“The errors killed us in the first game and we definitely tightened up our defense this game, and the hits were there was well,” Carte said.
Juneau now advances to play Sitka on Friday at 6 p.m.
None of the five tournament games have gone the customary six innings. Monday, Sitka beat Ketchikan 17-2 in three innings and Tuesday, Ketchikan beat Juneau 10-9 in seven innings. Wednesday, Juneau beat Sitka 9-8 in eight innings.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter @akempiresports.